The worldwide installed base of smart speakers is due to grow 82.4% year-on-year in 2019 and will overtake that of tablets by 2021, according to Canalys.
The research firm said that it expects the smart speaker installed base to grow from 114.0 million units globally in 2018 to 207.9 million in 2019, with the US to account for 42.2% of this.
China’s smart speaker installed base is expected to reach 59.9 million units by the end of 2019. Canalys notes that local vendors are bullish about the market and that “Google and Amazon have no presence there”.
“The growing installed base of smart speakers is an opportunity to create new business models and to drive profit beyond music and audio content streaming services,” said Canalys Senior Analyst, Jason Low.
He added that hardware differentiation is becoming “increasingly difficult” and consumer expectations are high.
“Vendors will need to focus on marketing the next-generation ‘wow factor’ for their respective smart assistants and voice services to change consumers’ perception and drive greater adoption.”
Separate research by IDC estimates that the smart home market in Europe reached almost 33 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018, representing 15.1% growth annually.
IDC said that the Western Europe smart home market grew 14.4% YoY, while the Central and Eastern Europe region recorded 22.7% YoY growth.
By 2023, it forecasts the smart home market to reach 187.2 million units, with a compound annual growth rate of 16.1% between 2018 and 2023.
IDC Senior Research Analyst for Smart Home Devices in Western Europe, Antonio Arantes, said: “The adoption of smart speakers will continue to expand rapidly, as purchases are no longer driven by curiosity or impulse buying, but by the increasing presence of several speakers in the household.”